February 3, 2010
A Feminist Perspective on the Criminal Justice System (working on the title)
I plan to write a research paper. The main question I am interested in answering is why it is problematic that we, as a culture, often code and view African American men as criminal, the impact this has, how it fits into a historical narrative about African Americans, and why this is problematic.
My project is important because while there is a lot of information on the racial disparities of the criminal justice system relatively few incorporate a feminist perspective or analysis. While I haven't decided which aspect to focus on in the criminal justice system, I want to focus on African American men, gendered constructions regarding them, how that plays into people coding them as 'criminal,' the impact the criminal justice system has on African American men and their families/communities. I do have to focus my paper down - and I'm still figuring out what to focus on specifically and how to make it flow together well.
I will use information from the U.S. Department of Justice, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Sentencing Project for my current facts on the criminal justice system regarding racial disparities. I plan to draw on Alice Walker, Patricia Hill Collins, and other black feminist writers for the theoretical frameworks. The rest of my sources/theories will be determined when I come up with a more concrete outline.